With the winter season right around the corner, many families may be thinking of a destination where they can escape the cold and find refuge somewhere warmer on a tropical island. While there are many family- friendly destinations that fit the bill, one destination to put on your list is the beach haven of the Bahamas.  Known for their scuba diving excursions, white-washed beaches (some with fancy five-star all-inclusive resorts, others completely deserted), cruise ship stopovers and laid-back Caribbean vibe, the 700-plus islands and cays of the Bahamas offer a ton for the family traveler. But not that I’ve written a flowery intro let’s get to the point. Bahamas has a crazy, unusual, adorable, cutesy, adventure kids and parents will love….swimming with pigs! Yup! Not sure how this fact has evaded me for so long, but this recently came to my attention and I wanted to share. For the adventurous family looking for something a little wacky…try swimming with the piggies in Bahamas.

The pigs live on Big Major Cay (in the Exuma Cays) on Pig Beach about 80 miles southeast of Nassau. From the shores of idyllic sandy beaches, they spend their afternoons basking in the sun and swimming in the surf. As of a few months ago, tourists used to be able to feed them but with the tragic death of eight celebrity swine (believed to be poisoned), the government has put a stop to tourists feeding the animals altogether.

I was recently in Bahamas as part of a business trip, for a Family Travel Summit conference (where top media professionals and family travel operators converged to discuss how we can all work together to encourage parents to travel with their kids). My days were spent mostly in board rooms and despite my best efforts, no pigs for me this time around. Now that it’s on my radar, I can promise you that I will soon be taking my little whiners to see the swimming swine in the near future.

For the inside scoop on where to stay and how to get there, check out my fellow family travel writers Angie’s Away  and La Jolla Mom for their personal accounts of swimming with pigs. They share some handy tips and tricks for planning your own trips.

There are several companies that offer full-day excursions leaving from Nassau. Alternatively, you can take shorter day trips from the Exumas. Check out the official Bahamas website for more info and a list of local tour operators. Beyond swimming with the pigs, many of these  tours also include a trip to Bahamian Rock to feed iguanas and Staniel Cay to pet nurse sharks …perfect for children who love nature. So start putting money in the kid’s piggy bank. Your entire family will no doubt go hog wild for this holiday!

(Editor’s note: I just spend a solid 20 minutes trying to come up with an appropriate pig pun ending. Haha, great use of time.)